I’ve waited quite a while to share this update with people outside my closest circle. It’s probably clear that this is the biggest single change I’ve ever done in my life: not just moving to another city, but another country!
Ambition is the main reason I made this decision. I have the skills to study for a few months and crack a job interview. It would have likely landed me a decent job in India. However, I enjoy researching a lot. I have a handful of publications, but I’ve hit a glass ceiling and need some help to burst through. I felt that this was not possible back home, so I made a change. A big one.
Goals at Glasgow
The next stage of my career is pursuing an MSc in Computing Science at the University of Glasgow. It is a one-year course, and it is already quite challenging. There are copious amounts of pre-reading, lab work, assignments, and continuous quizzes. But that does not scare me. I am enjoying the challenge and the subjects because I got to choose and tailor the course to my specific needs.
While I’m here, I need to build my network and get noticed by potential supervisors. I also need to be fairly quick so that I am prepared when the calls for funding start and I have the most chance of landing a funded PhD opportunity here. Even if it doesn’t work out here, I want to get in touch with other folks early here in Scotland.
Thoughts So Far…
I’ve been living here for a month and a half now. My father’s friend, who is a doctor in Manchester, told me something that I am realising first hand:
There is a certain minimum standard for everything that things absolutely cannot go below. Thankfully, this minimum is much better than back home.
We can consider a few examples that illustrate this point:
- The tap water is drinkable. You do not require a water purifier.
- If you’re controlling your portion, fast food will not leave you feeling worse than when you started. Businesses have to meet certain minimum criteria or risk fines and sanctions.
- The prices for food items and groceries vary, but the quality is high. I haven’t had to throw away food because it was bad. I generally avoid wasting food in the first place.
- The municipality is responsible and there is regular maintenance of all public amenities: roads, utilities, general cleanliness, etc.
- Electronics and other physical goods are built to last and cost significantly less than back home.
I know some readers might consider this to be commonplace, and perhaps, the least that one can expect from their city, but you’d be surprised. All of this makes me wish I could access these same quality amenities back home. Imagine the progress we can make if our quality of life is as good as in the rest of the international community. Most will call it wishful thinking, but I have hope that the folks in the new generations will work to bridge this gap.
My belief is that I’ve felt a larger culture shock when I moved to Ranchi from Kolkata to study at BIT Mesra than when I moved from India to the UK. This is probably because I was a teenager who started living on his own for the first time in his life, away from the warmth and comfort of home. The amount of ‘character development’ that I had to go through at BIT is significant, and I believe it has changed me for good. Resilience, patience, and tolerance levels have increased. Not quite enough to be bottomless; just enough to be anti-fragile.
I think this monologue is long enough. To recapitulate, I have moved to the UK (for at least a year) to study Computing Science and try my luck at landing a PhD. The quality of life is so much higher here based on my very limited life experience. In the next post, I will share some updates on life at the University of Glasgow, perhaps throw in some photographs as well.
Dear reader, I hope you’ve enjoyed this piece. Let me know your thoughts on this through comments, or in confidence.